What are viruses anyway, and why do they make us so sick? 5 questions answered

February 20, 2020

You may sometimes have felt like you “have come down with a virus,” meaning that you became sick from being exposed to something that could have been a virus. In fact, you have a virus – actually, many – all the time. Some viruses cause the common cold, and some are crucial to human survival. New viruses can also emerge, and they typically create illness in humans when they have very recently jumped from another species to humans. As world health leaders try to determine how to respond to the new coronavirus, virus expert Marilyn J. Roossinck answers a few questions.

President forms task force to look at student food and housing security

February 11, 2020

Food and housing insecurity is a growing issue for students at colleges and universities across the United States. Recent reports from both The Hope Center and the U.S. General Accounting Office have found these issues on college campuses nationwide. To help address this problem at Penn State, University President Eric Barron has formed a University Task Force on Food and Housing Security.

Sutherland Passes Qualifying Exam

January 27, 2020

Congratulations to Jeremy for passing his qualifying exam on January 27.

Department welcomes new building coordinator

January 24, 2020

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology is pleased to announce the addition of Janice McMahon to its staff as she assumes the position of building coordinator.

Aleman Passes Qualifying Exam

January 21, 2020

Congratulations to Max for passing his qualifying exam on January 21.

Fire blight publication featured in American Society for Microbiology podcast

January 15, 2020

A publication from the lab of Timothy McNellis, associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, was recently featured on “This Week in Microbiology,” a podcast produced by the American Society for Microbiology.

Bautista Jalón successfully defends thesis

December 19, 2019

Laura del Sol Bautista Jalón successfully defended her thesis on December 18, 2019.

Interdisciplinary lecture cultivates collaboration, leadership in plant health

December 18, 2019

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences held its inaugural Eva J. Pell Interdisciplinary Lecture on Plant Health on Dec. 9. The topic for this year’s lecture — “Where do Abiotic and Biotic Stress Overlap?” — focused on research that could mitigate the impacts of climate change on abiotic and biotic stress in plants.

August 2020 graduate assistantships now available

December 12, 2019

Plant Pathology Graduate Research Assistantships beginning August 2020 are now available for highly-qualified applicants.

Mainello successfully defends thesis

December 12, 2019

Amanda Mainello successfully defended her thesis on December 11, 2019.

Inaugural interdisciplinary lecture to address abiotic, biotic health in plants

December 5, 2019

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State will host an inaugural lecture on research that could help mitigate the impacts of climate change on abiotic and biotic stress in plants.

Zhao successfully defends thesis

December 2, 2019

Kaixi Zhao successfully defended her thesis on November 26, 2019.

Diseases and Wildlife

November 25, 2019

In the 6th episode of the Reach podcast, we discuss diseases in wildlife. We joined Dr. Kurt Vandegrift in the field to learn how research is conducted using ticks and mice, and how he is trying to prevent the next big epidemic. Next, we speak with Dr. Marilyn Roossinck about white-nose syndrome and it is endangering little brown bats.

World War II paratrooper with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star talks about the war

November 25, 2019

On Dec. 4, 1944, in the jungles of the Philippines during World War II, Penn State alumnus Leon Kneebone, now age 99, found himself leading a platoon of 50 to 60 men on a scouting mission to help locate the Japanese position. With two of these soldiers working as scouts, picking their way through the terrain on the island of Leyte, the group moved very slowly up a hill, surveying their surroundings for any possible signs of the enemy.

Penn State research projects awarded USDA organic agriculture grants

November 15, 2019

Three organic-agriculture projects led by faculty members in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The funding, totaling more than $1.3 million, was awarded through USDA-NIFA's Organic Transitions Program.

Penn State's Latinx Agricultural Network aims to help Latinx members of PA's agriculture industry

November 15, 2019

Emma Rosenthal and Ilsa Huerta, both graduate students in the College of Agricultural Sciences, began working together in 2017 because of a shared realization.

Castro Passes Qualifying Exam

November 12, 2019

Congratulations to Johanny for passing his qualifying exam on November 8.

Martin Passes Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam

November 11, 2019

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Phillip L Martin for passing his comprehensive examination.

Hsieh-Feng Passes Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam

November 8, 2019

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Vicki Hsieh-Feng for passing her comprehensive examination.

Blooms and Shrooms Club reveals new world at Penn State

October 29, 2019

Since its founding in 2016, the Blooms and Shrooms Club has organized a wide variety of fun, engaging activities designed to educate members and the public about the plants, plant diseases, mushrooms and fungi that populate the natural world.

Alumnus secures $1.5 million for Start-Up

October 28, 2019

Hunter Swisher, 2016 plant sciences graduate and entrepreneur, recently secured up to $1.5 million in new investment funding for Phospholutions, his startup fertilizer solution company.

Doctoral student in College of Agricultural Sciences creates global connections

October 24, 2019

As a de la Torre Scholar in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Terry Torres-Cruz aspires to foster relationships between the college and Latin America by sharing her connections and experiences.

Lauritzen Passes Oral Qualifying Exam

October 23, 2019

Congratulations to Elisa Lauritzen for passing her oral qualifying exam on October 22.

Approaches Towards Soil Probiotics

October 23, 2019

Microbial inoculants - soil probiotics - is not a new concept, but the challenge remains how to take products from labs to effectively work in the ag fields.

Microbial Inoculants for Agricultural Soils – Potential and Challenges

October 21, 2019

Researchers from the Penn State Microbiome Manipulation Lab are interested in the effects of plant-associated microbiomes on crop productivity.

Shih Passes Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam

October 18, 2019

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Justin Shih for passing his comprehensive examination.

Students support fusarium research in strategic partnership with Penn State

October 16, 2019

Two graduate students from South Africa recently had the opportunity to expand their research, develop a mentorship network and increase multicultural fluency as a result of a strategic partnership between the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) at the University of Pretoria.

Kaminsky passes qualifying exam

October 11, 2019

Congratulations to Laura for passing her qualifying exam on October 11.

Latinx Agricultural Network formed at Penn State to address community's needs

October 10, 2019

A new strategic planning group at Penn State seeks to enhance engagement and continue to provide support to Pennsylvania’s Latinx agricultural community.

CRISPR/Cas-Mediated Base Editing: Technical Considerations and Practical Applications named one of the best new reviews for October

October 9, 2019

Just in time for major scientific meetings at the end of the year—namely the SFN (Society for Neuroscience) meeting, which is a highlight for neuroscientists, and the ASHG (American Society for Human Genetics) meeting, which is a key meeting for geneticists—this month's editor picks highlight articles that address century-old questions while providing new answers.